MURSYS - Baltic Sea

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MURSYS - Baltic Sea


Regional distribution of chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the pelagic and surface sediment of the Baltic Sea in 2003 (abstract)

  Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung, Warnemünde
(IOW) (Baltic Sea Research Institute, Warnemünde)
commissioned by
Bundesamtes für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, Hamburg, Rostock
(Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany, Hamburg, Rostock)

Levels of organic pollutants in Baltic Sea water in 2003 were found to be similar as in 2002. The marked decrease in HCH levels (measurement series since 1975) has been confirmed. As for PCB and DDT reliable conclusions could not be drawn, as measurements have only been available for three years (PCB) and six years (DDT). A slight decrease was observed for PAH and DDE. HCH concentrations (440 – 600 pg/L) were clearly higher than those of PCB (1 - 5 pg/L) and DDT/DDE (3 – 16 pg/L). Regional differences were low, and the only source of particulate pollutant inputs that could be identified was the river Odra.

In research performed parallel to monitoring, it was investigated whether the analytical apparatus and sampling technique at IOW was suitable for the determination of polybromated diphenylether (PBDE) in Baltic Sea water. The detection limits for PBDE congeners in sea water ranged between 1 and 5 pg/L. Six samples from the Arkona Sea, Gotland Sea, and Darss Sill were analysed, and PBDE above the detection limits was not found in any of the samples. Without improving the analytical methods, the inclusion of PBDE as a compound group into the existing Baltic Monitoring Programme does not appear realistic at present.

Within the framework of research and development, investigations were made to determine the basis for sediment monitoring. The goal is to identify suitable stations and sampling strategies in dependence on sediment parameters (e.g. organic carbon content). In 2003, first investigations of the basin-wide distribution of PCB, PAH and DDE were carried out in the Gotland Basin. As expected, the pollutant level in sediment was high, and the distribution was clearly dependent on Corg concentrations. Additional research in other parts of the Baltic Sea, especially with regard to small-scale variability, should be scheduled as part of the monitoring work programmes in the coming years.

The complete report is available in German on the internet at: (1,77 MB)


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